'Looking for ivermectin? Click here': How some telehealth companies push the controversial drug

Several telehealth companies are offering patients access to the controversial anti-parasite drug ivermectin, which is rumored by some groups to be an effective treatment for COVID-19, The Guardian reported Sept. 13.

Five things to know:

  1. At the top of a Florida-based telehealth website, there is a bright orange banner that reads, "Looking for ivermectin? Click here." The website also assures patients that they have fast shipping and high-quality medications, according to the report.

  2. Misinformation online has fueled rumors that ivermectin can treat COVID-19, but physicians have said there is no evidence to back the claims. The CDC and FDA warned in August that COVID-19-positive patients should not use the drug.

  3. Some anti-vaccine activists are directing patients to telehealth providers that will offer up the drug, according to the report. At least three of these sites have ties to a right-wing political group, America's Frontline Doctors, according to The Guardian.

  4. Telehealth company MyFreeDoctor promotes ivermectin on its website. It was founded by America's Frontline Doctor's member Ben Marble, MD. SpeakWithAnMD is also frequently promoted on social media accounts that endorse ivermectin. It works in partnership with America’s Frontline Doctors and charges $90 for consultations.

  5. Stella Immanuel, MD, a member of America's Frontline Doctors, posted on her medical practice's Facebook page that they are getting more than 700 patients a day signing up for visits to get ivermectin, The Guardian reported.

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